Sandra Nap is a pioneer in upscaling biobased construction at Holland Houtland.
Trained as a social historian, she has been working as an independent consultant accelerating the energytransition for 12 years now. In 2020, together with fellow impact entrepreneur Chantal van Schaik, she created Holland Houtland after they won the crowdsourcing campaign Kraak de Crisis with their sound idea to tackle the energy, nitrogen-crisis and the housing shortage in addition to the corona crisis.
Holland Houtland is committed to scaling up and accelerating construction with locally grown biobased, vegetable raw materials like hemp, straw, flax and wood.
I have made the choice to make a social impact during my career.
After working for a number of years with the government as a change manager at various organizations throughout the country, I reached the point where I realized that I would rather work as an independent entrepreneur. That way I could make more impact and manage my own time.
The energy transition in the Netherlands is largely focused on the energy use of the buildings. This is a small scope, with targets that are really way too low to reach the Paris Agreement goal. We can achieve so much more when we focus on biobased construction than we are currently seeing. Many cities, housing associations and investors are looking for certainty in their tenders, and they let the high ambitions go if it turns out that the regulations are in the way. Of course, as a society we miss a lot of opportunities. For example, with Holland Houtland we supervise the design of tenders so that the tenders can simply be done within the framework of the law and meet the sustainability goals of the clients.
From the living lab, into the boardroom
We do not allow ourselves to be led by lobbying processes that oppose biobased construction. Our aim is to get out of the testing ground and into the boardroom. There we can match the sustainability goals, true the decisions to the desired outcome.
Up or out
As a social historian I graduated on the question why the first feminist wave did not get hit directly to the second world war, while all ingredients were present in society. This question and the social impact are just as relevant today. Not all systems work equally well for everyone, the “up or out” culture that is still really common in large organizations is a good example of this. This culture doesn’t work for many women, but neither does it work for many men.
However, you can decide to sit down and be annoyed, but you can also think that you can do something cool.
In case you do think for yourself “I’m going to do something fun.” please go and actually do something fun!
Financial independence is in the mind and the trade and often is stable employment a golden chain, dependency. For me this is a very important theme, and I like to turn it around; also make sure that you are financially independent from your employer.
Making an impact
Being sweet on the relationship, but tough on the content.
Then you make an impact.